I’m Sorry. I Just Can’t Be a Room Mom.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t be a room mom.

It began in August. Within the first three weeks of school, I had already been solicited for multiple volunteer opportunities. School fair tent volunteering, teacher appreciation luncheon sign-ups, PTA board positions and, yes, room mom interest surveys. As someone who has been an overachiever her whole life, I did have a pang of guilt for not instantly signing up for all of it.

But my sense of self-preservation heavily outweighed the mom guilt of not volunteering. There’s no way I can be the sparkly, effervescent helper a preschool class needs – nor do I want to be.

My plate is full, guys.

I am in school myself, working toward becoming an RN. On top of that, I work. And I freelance. And of course, I’m a mother. I’m a wife. I have other obligations I have already volunteered my time for before my child started school, and there are only 24 hours in a day. So, no, I won’t be volunteering to bring snack for the class any time soon. I don’t like committing to do something if it’s not an enthusiastic yes. And I certainly don’t want to take the place of another parent who would undoubtedly do a better job than me.

Don’t get me wrong – I could not love my child more if I tried. He makes me want to be a better person every day. But the way I can best serve him is by trying my hardest to graduate on time, to do well in school, and to scrape together a paycheck in the meantime. That’s all I’ve got in me right now.

So here’s a shout out to the room moms out there …

For dedicating their time and energy when I couldn’t. For showing my son that adults other than those in his immediate family care for him and his friends. Thanks for carrying the baton for this leg of the journey. Things may be different in a few years. The dust may eventually settle on this season for my family and it may be my turn to pick up where other parents can’t fill in. But for now, while I can’t be a room mom, thank you for being present, room moms. This tired mama loves you for it.

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